Awards : Hall of Fame Award

Margaret Fischl, M.D. ’76

Margaret Fischl, M.D. ’76 completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Fischl is a professor of medicine and serves as director and principal investigator of the AIDS Clinical Research Unit at the University of Miami. She has been involved in HIV/AIDS research since the beginning of her medical career. Fischl was one of the first clinical scientists to describe the heterosexual transmission of HIV, specific manifestations of AIDS, and the presentation of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in patients with HIV infection. In addition, she has been a pioneer in anti-retroviral research and has led numerous studies dealing with HIV/AIDS and Kaposi’s Sarcoma, including the first studies evaluating zidovudine (AZT), combination drug regimens and lower doses of nucleoside analogues for toxicity for HIV infected patients. She was the first physician to demonstrate that use of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxozole in the prevention of HIV-related pneumocystis carinii pneumonia improved survival rates. One of the first to educate the public about the transmission of the HIV virus, she is credited with being a heroine in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. Furthermore, Fischl was favorably associated with having been instrumental in securing Federal Drug Administration approval for AZT.

Her commitment to research has put her at the forefront of determining guidelines for the treatment of HIV infections. She has made significant contributions to the scientific agenda involving the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (AACTG) and for the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC). Fischl was senior author of an ACTG study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, which proves the effectiveness of triple combination drug therapy using the newest class of anti-retroviral drugs called protease inhibitors. On a national level Fischl has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Services, and for leading pharmaceutical companies. She has served on the ACTG Executive Committee, has chaired the HIV Disease Research and Agenda Committee, and has contributed to national and international HIV clinical trial committees.

She has served on the editorial boards of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) HIV Web Page, and has authored numerous scientific journals and books. Recognized as one of the best doctors in the US (“The Best Doctors in America”, Woodard and White, 1995 and 1998) for her work in HIV/AIDS, Fischl was an organizer of one of the top six HIV/AIDS programs in the country, according to US News and World Reports.